Tag Archives: william hague

Opinion: However unfair it is, Chris Huhne should step down

Another morning with the papers dominated by stories about the ever more complicated driving arrangements of Chris Huhne who is now (said to be) saying he can’t remember what happened on the evening in question.

There are accounts of his ex wife’s movements that day, maps showing who was where and allegations that he has asked others to take his points in the past. Perhaps inevitably there are claims of other extra-marital arrangements in the past.

Like everyone else apart from those directly concerned I have no idea whether any of this is true but that is no longer the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 105 Comments

The Independent View: Lib Dem green credibility in crisis

The environmental credibility of the Liberal Democrats is under threat.

Its general election manifesto was easily the most ambitious of all the main parties, with the environment firmly at the heart of every policy area.

So our hopes were high when the party joined forces with Cameron’s Conservatives last year  – and higher still when one of the new Prime Minister’s first acts was a promise to lead the greenest Government ever.

Twelve months on the picture looks much bleaker.

Friends of the Earth asked the former chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, Jonathon Porritt, to review the Coalition’s first year in office. His assessment was pretty damning.

Little or no …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , , and | 24 Comments

The Independent View: Why I’m voting Yes to AV – Simon Woolley

I was a little surprised to be invited to be guest speaker at the Liberal Democrat spring conference last week. But the surprise was not because I’m supporting the AV Yes Vote. After all, I am vice-chair of the campaign.

It was rather because party bosses are well aware of my criticism after the main conference last September. My beef with them, expressed in the Guardian and other places, was a result of the party’s failure to do something positive about its lack of BME political representation.

Of course, I wasn’t there to talk about representation. But I did anyway. …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

The weekend debate: Old versus young at work

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

During the week Foreign Secretary William Hague talked of having a network of diplomats who are past their retirement age of 60 but can be called on to help out at times of international crisis. However Labour MP Frank Roy attacked the idea saying that the Foreign Office instead should be “nurturing young talent”.

What’s your view on this and more generally – should we do more to keep on the skills of people beyond 60, or should people be promptly moved out …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Back from the Brink: the extraordinary fall and rise of the Conservative Party

Peter Snowdon’s history of the Conservative Party in opposition, quickly updated last year to include the final stage in their recovery, has four white men on its cover striding towards the reader – Cameron, Osborne, Hague and Clegg. It tells you immediately the sort of book that Back from the Brink: The extraordinary fall and rise of the Conservative Party is: tightly focused in on politics as seen from and carried out in Westminster.

This is an account of senior political figures and their political, policy and media manoeuvrings. The public feature very rarely (unlike in Deborah Mattinson’s memoirs from

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

Nick Clegg averted the axe from over-16s’ child benefit

Paul Walter has spotted an under-reported point in the child benefit coverage of the past few days: that payments for children aged 16 to 18 were originally intended to be stopped, but that this plan was dropped after Nick Clegg intervened.

Paul spotted this in a “deep trawl” of the Telegraph:

The controversial decision to “pre-announce” the child benefit decision was made 10 days ago by the key Conservative power-broking trio of David Cameron, Mr Osborne and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, it is understood.

A couple of days later they informed Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, and his party

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 9 Comments

Naughty, naughty, Guido – let’s check that poll again, shall we

Paul Staines, who blogs as Guido Fawkes, seems very keen indeed to persuade his readers that the public’s right behind him on his pursuit of William Hague over the allegation of improper activities with his former special advisor.

Keen enough, it appears, to take a rather inventive approach when it comes to interpreting the opinion polls.

When you ask a question in a poll and the result comes back as 46% yes, 12% no, most of us would take that as an indication that the public’s in the “yes” camp.

Not Staines.  He’s taken all the “don’t knows” – many of whom may …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 15 Comments
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